For me PR in politics is at its best when there is a US presidential election and the debates start taking place. I have seen a few ‘must see’ political PR films recently and enjoyed them both immensly – the first was the film ‘The War Room’ -(Documentary movie – 1993) and the more recent ‘The Ides of March’. ‘The War Room’ was a bit of an eye opener. If you watch that and then the film ‘Primary Colours’ you will see where they got some of their ideas from. Anyway enough of films and documentaries lets get on to the Florida Debate.
Well, I have finally had time to watch the Florida Debate that took place on Thursday. To be perfectly honest I have not been following any of the debates so far but seen some of the previous candidates drop out of the race. From my brief glimpses on the news I thought Cain was a certain winner and then he was gone. After I saw Michele Bachmans speech that she would not be continuing I thought it must be almost over. I see now that the Replublican race for a presidential candidate is down to four. Obama must be having sleepless nights in preperation for the presidential debates or is it his campaign communications director who should be worried. After watching the debate I have to say Ron Paul and Rick Santorum won’t be in the final two. It will be between Newt Gingrich (I battle with his name so lets just call him Big G) and Mitt Romney.
As far as messages are concerned Mitt Romney is slick and has an answer for everything. When you watch and listen you believe what he is saying and you know he is informed. My concern with Big G was that he seemed to be doing a lot of fighting talk and it was precious time which could have been spent on key issues. Big G being a Speaker of the House certainly has his finger on the pulse as far as issues in government are concerned. I thought that in the debate he came across as very keen to spend money on the military if he were president. I don’t necessary feel pleased about him handling health care. But if he gets his campaign team to work on his charisma he may be in with a shout. As far as Rick Santorum was concerned I thought he finished the debate well but on a number of occasions I thought his answers were a bit of a thumb suck and in one or two instances I am sure he was glad to be the last candidate to answer the question as he was able to poach the answers off the other candidates. My eyebrows were raised a bit when he doubted global warming. (I suggest he make a trip to the poles while there is still ice there.) I did smile a bit when he said that he believed in Fundamental Freedoms – if only I could have been Wolf Blitzer for a moment and asked who doesn’t believe in them.
I feel that Ron Paul is a bit like your grandfather, the perfect person to listen to but do you really want him dithering whether or not to send forces to a confict? He seems too much of a nice guy and does not have the forcefullness you expect from a president when it is required. I am looking forward to any more debates if there are any – in the next few I will be very interested to see what Big G and Mitt Romney have to say.
I wish I could put a question to the candidates – it would be an environmental one – Since George Bush Senior signed the International Climate treaty in Rio but it was not binding – Vice President Al Gore in Kyoto created something binding but then never brought it before the senate – President George Bush then scrapped Americas signing of the Kyoto Agreement because it was ‘Fatally flawed in fundamental ways.’ I’d want the candidates to tell me their environmental policies. At the very least it would be a good laugh to see the candidates lie as no previous president has done something substantional when it comes to the environment.